An X-ray is a widely used diagnostic test to examine the inside of the body. X-rays are a very effective way of detecting problems with bones, such as fractures. They can also often identify problems with soft tissue, such as pneumonia or breast cancer.
If you have an X-ray, you will be asked to lie on a table or stand against a surface so that the part of your body being X-rayed is between the X-ray tube and the photographic plate.
An X-ray is usually carried out by a radiographer, a healthcare professional who specialises in using imaging technology, such as X-rays and ultrasound scanners.
We are aware that in some areas, some hospital doctors have been instructing patients to contact their GP practice to find out hospital results.
Both the General Practitioner Committee and the Consultants Committee of the BMA agree this practice is potentially unsafe, and that the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that results are acted upon, rests with the person requesting the test.
You can find out more about x-ray tests, how they are performed, their function and the risks by visiting the NHS Choices website.